As your personal accountant is going to be the one person who gets an inside look at just about everything there is to know about your personal finances, you need to ensure that you choose the right person for the job. When deciding on whom to choose, there are a few warning signs that will give you a heads-up on the type of accountant you could potentially end up working with, so be sure to watch out for these characteristics before you sign on the dotted line!
Lack of contact
If you keep on trying to get hold of the personal accountant but don’t hear from them after calling several times and leaving several messages with your contact details, this should definitely give you cause for concern. Similarly, if you keep getting passed around by the people who answer the telephone, you are unable to make an appointment, or you simply get the impression that the staff to client ratio is inadequate, then this is not the personal accountant for you. You need someone who is able to take as much time as necessary to get to know you and your finances, so do yourself a favour and move on to the next company on your shortlist.
Inaccuracies and unprofessional first impressions
If you are presented with information that is shoddy or has inaccuracies within the text when you first contact a personal accountant, what does it say about the sort of service you can expect from them? Similarly, if you are given inaccurate information over the telephone or via their website or digital marketing platforms, there is a good chance that this is a firm or individual who doesn’t double check their presentation and content. If this is the case, how can you be confident in the accuracy of their accounting process? Also, if they are not members of a professional body, then you may wish to check their credentials.
Lack of interest in building a lasting working relationship
If you do manage to obtain an initial meeting or telephone call, then note how they make the effort to get to know you and your personal financial circumstances. Even if you are only going to meet with them on an annual basis for a yearly tax planning session, they have to show interest in fostering a long term business relationship with you. If they seem less interested just because you are not coming to them with a lot of potential business, then don’t engage their services. You need to feel comfortable about discussing your finances with your personal accountant, and having someone whom you can trust is crucial not just for your current needs, but also for the future when you could potentially expand your financial horizons and require more support and expertise.